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U.K. CAA suspends flights of Van Air Europe on safety grounds
1 March 2017

Van Air L-410 OK-LAZ at Belfast City Airport (Nov. 2015) (photo Albert Bridge / CC:by-sa)

The U.K.’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) suspended local operations by Van Air Europe following a recent incident, according to local media.

Van Air Europe is a Czech airline that operated flights on behalf of Citywing, an Isle of Man-based virtual airline. Citywing sells seats on scheduled flights which were operated under charter from Van Air.

On February 23, 2017, Storm Doris was causing disruptions to air travel in the U.K. During the storm flight V9502 took off from Ronaldsway Airport, Isle of Man at 08:24 UTC on a scheduled service to Belfast City Airport. The flight was operated by a Van Air Europe Let L-410, registration OK-LAZ.
The approach to Belfast City Airport was aborted due to strong winds, whereupon the flight crew decided to divert back to Ronaldsway. The aircraft landed at Ronaldsway Airport about 09:25 hrs UTC during very strong winds. After roll out the aircraft was escorted by fire and emergency services off runway 26. Unconfirmed reports say this was due to the difficulty encountered when attempting to taxi back to the ramp in strong winds. Metar weather data at the time show winds at 42 knots with gusts at 56 knots.

This occurrence was apparently cause for concern, leading the CAA to the decision to suspend the airline’s operations in the United Kingdom.

The incident aircraft, OK-LAZ, was ferried back to the Czech Republic on February 26, followed by another aircraft three days later.

Weather at Ronaldsway:
EGNS 230620Z 23032G45KT 7000 -RA FEW012 SCT022 BKN030 07/04 Q0977 BECMG 31017KT
EGNS 230720Z 25033G47KT 220V290 3000 RA FEW005 BKN008 OVC015 06/05 Q0973 NOSIG
EGNS 230820Z 29029G42KT 5000 -RA FEW006 BKN009 BKN022 07/05 Q0975 TEMPO 3000 RA BKN007 [approx departure time]
EGNS 230920Z 30042G56KT 4000 RA FEW005 BKN011 BKN033 05/03 Q0979 TEMPO 3000 BKN006 [approx landing time]
EGNS 231020Z 30042G58KT 9999 -RA FEW009 BKN015 OVC025 05/02 Q0984 TEMPO 5000 RA BKN006
EGNS 231120Z 30043G56KT 9000 -RA FEW012 SCT016 BKN028 06/03 Q0986 TEMPO 5000 BKN006

Weather at Belfast City Airport:
EGAC 230820Z 31029G46KT 9999 -SHRA FEW009 BKN012 03/01 Q0981
EGAC 230920Z 31023G40KT 9999 -RADZ FEW010 BKN014 04/02 Q0986
EGAC 231020Z 31021G34KT 9999 VCSH FEW010 BKN014 05/03 Q0989

More information: